Warning: R for language, I suppose. Spoilers for aired episodes.
Summary: So he thanks her for taking care of him, and it's the most natural thing in the world to have her leaning against his gun shot wound with her hand on his bare chest and her breathing going all weird as she tries to stop crying.
Word Count: 4,750
Disclaimer: Don't own.
He's mostly naked underneath this blanket, but she's crying and he hates it, though she's still stupidly gorgeous even with tears running down her cheeks. He's not really thinking about what he's wearing or not wearing when he lifts the blanket and lets her lean against him. He's also not thinking about the fact that he got shot and that shit hurts.
Matt's an asshole. For a lot of reasons, but more because he broke Caroline's heart than because he's wielding a gun like some kind of fucking maniac hero. More maniac than hero, apparently. He was probably just attempting to protect Caroline, or that's what he'll say, but he's kind of a selfish dick these days, so more likely than not, it was about protecting himself. Understandable, Tyler supposes, but still shitty.
So he thanks her for taking care of him, and it's the most natural thing in the world to have her leaning against his gun shot wound with her hand on his bare chest and her breathing going all weird as she tries to stop crying.
"I can't believe he shot me," he says. She laughs again, which, if she were anyone else, he'd be pissed about. She's not malicious and he loves her laugh, so it's fine when she does it. "Seriously."
"He was scared."
He rolls his eyes at her defending Matt. "Still. He can't just shoot people."
She pulls away a little and looks up at him. "Tyler, you weren't exactly people at the time," she reminds him.
He thinks about it for a second, pulls her back against him. It hurts, but he doesn't care. "Whatever," he mumbles, and she laughs again.
She's kind of perfect. She really is. He doesn't care what she is or what she's done or what she's capable of doing or might do. He cares that she's the only one on the planet who seems to get what he's going through. She's definitely the only one who's willing to help him like this. She's kind of fearless, and that's either stupid or really noble, depending on when you ask him and what she's doing. The crazy thing is, she's still herself even though she's a vampire. He knows all about it, how vampires can be ruthless and emotionless and basically evil incarnate (he's spent the last few weeks with a bunch of werewolves; those stories might be exaggerated a little bit). She still cares enough about everyone to help them when they're hurting, and she still feels enough to cry when she is.
Plus, she's really fucking hot.
She sighs and sinks against him a little more, pulls her legs up onto the couch. "I'm really glad you came back," she tells him. He assumed as much, but it's nice to hear the words anyway. "Even though everything here is insane and we could have died today."
"We didn't," he says, squeezing her shoulder.
He knows she's thinking, too, about who might have died instead.
She takes a deep breath, and when he looks down at her face her eyes are closed. She's so pretty it's ridiculous, really. Like, she's easily the most beautiful vampire ever, and how fucked up is his life (their lives) that he actually has to make that distinction? Her eyes open a few seconds later and she lets her breath out slowly.
"You okay?" he asks.
"Yeah," she says, nodding. "It's just been a while since I, you know, ate anything."
Oh, right. That.
"I'm fine, Tyler," she laughs, looking up at him. "You're the one who got shot."
She's teasing him and he knows he missed her when he was gone, but it hits him pretty hard anyway. Probably because it just feels so good to be sitting with her like this in a totally quiet house with no one else around and just be able to be himself without having to act like he's not totally fucked up.
"I can't believe he shot me," he says after a couple minutes.
She laughs again and pulls away, looks at him. "You're never going to let that go, are you?" she giggles.
She looks down and her hair falls in her face. "I know," she says quietly.
They need to talk about that. They really need to talk about that. He's lived that night over a hundred times in his head, and every fucking time, he's done something different to help her. Anything.
Her phone rings before he can bring it up, and her face falls when she listens to whoever's on the other end of the line. He sits up and watches her with his brow furrowed, and she gasps and holds her hand to her mouth, starts tearing up again and then hangs up.
"I have to go," she says.
"Caroline." He needs to know what's going on.
"I have to..." She sighs, grabs her stuff and wipes her cheeks again. "I'm sorry about Jules."
It sounds kind of forced, and he doesn't know what the hell she's talking about until her eyes meet his.
He leans back against the couch and closes his eyes, because fuck.
When he opens them, she's gone.
... ... ...
She comes over after the memorial. She's wearing this black dress and looks gorgeous as hell, but he doesn't comment because it doesn't seem appropriate.
He didn't go. That didn't seem appropriate, either. He went to Elena's parents' funeral and everything, but that was different. Everything was different then. He honestly doesn't know what to say to someone who's lost everything the way Elena and Jeremy have. Funny, because he's lost almost as much. He almost lost his mom, too, and he really doesn't know what he'd do if that fall she had was worse. He actually went to see her this morning and she's coming home tomorrow.
He's staying in Mystic Falls. Now that he's got a reason or two to stay, he's staying. Jules is dead and she was the only werewolf he trusted even a little bit, and he's not going back to Florida to spend any more time with the rest of them. He's gotten more help from Caroline than he has from any of them, and he likes her more. So much more.
Caroline walks into his bedroom and just lays down next to him, rests her head against his chest. He could get used to this.
"I don't know what to do for her," she says after a few minutes. He rubs her shoulder and she rests her arm across his stomach. "What am I even supposed to say?"
"I don't know," he admits. She takes a breath. "You don't have to say anything."
"I should. I say things. That's what I do."
He chuckles a little bit and wants to kiss her hair or kiss her anywhere, but he doesn't. Kissing her didn't go over so well last time, and they should probably talk about that before he tries doing it again.
"You being there for her will be enough."
"Since when are you all sentimental?" she teases, fingertips digging into his ribs.
He doesn't want to say what he's about to say, because it'll just prove her point, but he doesn't care. "Since you being there for me is enough."
"Tyler," she whispers, like she's surprised or something. Which is stupid, because she obviously knows how much he appreciates her. "Where are you getting all these like, feelings from?"
He laughs and she sits up, tucks her legs to the side and supports herself on one hand. She looks so right on his bed.
"It's like for you," he explains. "Things are way more intense and..." He shrugs. "It's hard to be afraid of feelings and shit when you know what's really out there." She smiles and shakes her head like she can't believe he's saying this. "I mean, my best friend shot me."
She laughs again and pushes at his shoulder. "Don't make me laugh."
He lets out a low chuckle. She's insane if she thinks he's not going to try and make her smile right now. "Come here," he says, opening his arm for her again. She lays down and takes a deep breath, like she's finally comfortable and hasn't been all day.
"Can you talk to me about things that don't suck?"
He smiles, leans his head against hers. "My mom's coming home tomorrow."
And she's so happy and relieved to hear that, it almost makes him lose his mind with how much he likes her.
She lays in his bed for a little over an hour, then her mom calls and asks where she is. She takes a deep breath after she's hung up and plays with her phone for a few seconds and doesn't look at him.
"I'm mad at her," she admits. He runs his hand down her back because he can. "I don't know what to do, Tyler."
He knows she hasn't said that to anyone, and he has no clue what to say to her about it. His mom doesn't know what he is, but he's pretty sure that if she did, she'd do the waspy thing and say she loves him no matter what, then make sure no one ever found out about him.
"Act like you don't know she knows." She looks at him like he's insane. "It's impossible not to like you, Caroline."
"You're just saying that."
"No," he says, laughing quietly. "Your mom won't do anything crazy. She's not like that."
"She hates vampires," she says, kind of helplessly.
"She doesn't hate you."
She leaves with a smile on her face and promises she'll come over tomorrow to say hi to his mom, and he kind of loves her for that.
... ... ...
He goes back to school because he's got nothing better to do. His mom calls and basically excuses him from all the assignments and lessons he's missed. She mentions her fall and basically guilts the principal into going easy on him. It's hard to go back after being away so long, not having to deal with teachers and teenaged bullshit. School seems like kind of a stupid thing, considering.
The first person he runs into in the parking lot is Matt, and the guy has the balls to look pissed off or something.
"Thanks for shooting me, dick," Tyler says before Matt can say something stupid.
"I was protecting Caroline."
It's almost convincing.
"You were protecting yourself."
"Whatever, man," Matt says, a shitty look on his face. He starts to walk away, but Tyler puts his hand on Matt's chest to keep him from getting far. Matt shrugs him off. "What?"
"That's it?" Tyler asks, laughing humourlessly. "You fucking shot me, and you're not even going to apologize."
"What the hell is your deal?" Matt asks. He's angry. "You left and you shouldn't have come back." Tyler clenches his jaw. Fuck that. "What, you wanna be with her now?"
"What if I do?" He doesn't know where that came from, but there it is.
"You tried to kill her," Matt says, leaning in close, his tone low.
Tyler smirks and shakes his head. "You broke her heart. Which one of us did she forgive?"
He walks away because Matt's obviously pissed, and he kind of is, too. And when they fight, no one wins.
... ... ...
"You bit Damon."
She's in his room and talking before he even realizes she's there. He doesn't have a clue how she got in, but here she is.
"You bit him. It must have been when..." Her voice trails and she locks eyes with him. "He's dying."
And he really doesn't give a shit about Damon. He doesn't. The guy is an arrogant asshole, and from what Tyler knows, all he's done is cause shit since the second he came to Mystic Falls. Who knows, maybe everything wouldn't be so incredibly fucked up if Damon hadn't shown up. All Stefan wanted was to fall in love with Elena. Damon wanted some kind of sick revenge, and it's basically fucked everyone over.
But he's seeing the look on Caroline's face, and he knows she cares about what happens to Damon. They're friends and he knows Damon kind of looks out for her and Tyler thinks she needs that, needs someone who can be objective and teach her things. That's what Jules was to him, even though he knows there really wasn't much else to like about her.
"There's a cure," he admits reluctantly. Her eyes go kind of wide and hopeful. That's why he's doing this.
"You just have to make sure he doesn't kill me before I can explain it to him."
She laughs a little and he gets up, walks out of his bedroom and seriously wonders if he's going fucking insane. Jules - or any other werewolf - would kick his ass for what he's about to do. But honestly, he'd rather have a bunch of vampires on his side than against him, and if he doesn't fix this, there's a chance he won't live until the next full moon.
Damon looks like shit and is laying in his bed shirtless when Tyler walks into the room. Stefan insists on being there, and Tyler doesn't give a damn. Caroline is there, too, because she's like the voice of reason for these two brothers. Well, other than Elena. She says, "Damon, listen to him," and the guy shuts up and hears what Tyler has to say. The dude's arm is completely messed up and disgusting.
He's never been bitten by a vampire before, and it hurts like a bitch and makes him feel like shit. Caroline puts her hand on his shoulder and stands behind him while Damon drinks just enough of his blood to heal the bite. When he pulls his mouth away, he lays back against his pillows and Tyler touches his hand to his neck.
"Get him out of here," Damon says.
Tyler doesn't need anyone to forcibly remove him. Caroline doesn't stop touching him the entire time. She also doesn't look at the blood trickling down his skin.
"I'm going to stay here," she says when they get to the front door. He nods in understanding. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," he promises. He smiles at her for good measure. "I'll be fine, Care."
She puts her arms around him and turns her face away from his neck. "Thank you," she whispers.
... ... ...
The next time he sees Damon, they're at this stupid thing at Tyler's house and everyone in town is there. Damon looks a hell of a lot better than he did last time Tyler saw him, has his sleeves rolled up and there's not even a mark on his arm where the bite used to be.
He doesn't come over and say anything, but he nods towards Tyler, and that's probably as much of a thank you as he's going to get.
Tyler's fine with it. He nods back and Damon turns away.
... ... ...
"I'm sorry, you know," he says one night when they're watching some stupid show she likes and she's shushing him any time he tries to talk.
Not this time.
"For the whole...That night."
He doesn't want to say it. The night you were kidnapped and I didn't help you.
"Don't," she says seriously, shaking her head. She sounds exhausted, like even thinking about it takes all the energy she has. "It's okay."
"No, it's not okay, Caroline," he insists. He's kind of pissed at her for saying it and she must be able to see that written on her face.
"But it's over," she says. "There's nothing you can do about it now."
He wants to make sure she understands that he really means what he's about to say, so he angles his body towards hers on the couch.
"I will never do that to you again," he says, eyes on hers.
She seems to get it, because she just blinks a few times as they look at one another, then nods her head, pushes her hair off her face and says, "Okay," in this small voice he's heard only a few times before. "I believe you."
He needs her to.
... ... ...
He never goes to her place because he honestly doesn't trust her mother.
He knows she doesn't, either. That's why she spends most of her time away from the house. At least half of that time is spent with him.
He's been home just shy of a month now and he's seen her every day. Sometimes he wonders how he ever left, even though he knows it was for the best. He thought he was doing her a favour. He really didn't think Matt would screw her over like this. He didn't think that when he basically told Matt he was stepping out of the way so she could be with him, that the guy would treat her like shit. He's still not happy about it, but he's not talking to Matt and neither is she, so he tries not to think about it.
She's laying on his bed, sleeping, when he comes back from a run one afternoon. Running keeps him focused and keeps him from feeling like he's crawling out of his skin. It helps with impulse control, too.
But when he sees her laying there on his bed, he has a really damn hard time not just laying on top of her and kissing her awake.
He can see her skin between her jeans and her top. It's crazy that an inch of skin sends his heart racing like it is. Her hair is fanned out on the pillow and one of her hands is near her face, her delicate wrist sitting on the pillow.
Fuck, she's beautiful.
He tosses the shirt he took off in the foyer when he came into the house, onto the chair in the corner of his room. The sound must wake her up, because she takes a sharp breath and blinks her eyes open, makes a little sound from the back of her throat and looks at him. He honestly can't help the smile that he gives her as she lays there looking at him.
"Stop," she says all shyly, putting her hand on her cheek and turning her head.
"Looking at me like that."
He steps closer to the bed. "Like what?"
His knee lands on the bed and he's just looking down at her. Her eyes are on his and she reaches out her hand, but just sets it on top of the covers near his leg.
"Like you look at me," she whispers, letting out a breathy little laugh after.
If she expects him to control himself right now, she doesn't know him at all. He leans down and sets his arms on either side of her, presses himself against her. She's watching him the entire time, and her hands slide up his arms to sit on his shoulders. She wets her lips and he stops thinking about the last time he kissed her and how she pushed him away after.
He leans down and kisses her, feels her relax even more beneath him, take in a little breath and move her hands to his face. Unless he's reading her wrong, she's relieved to be kissing him right now. He just moves his lips against hers until she lets out a little sound and he pulls away.
"You're sweaty," she notes, skimming her hands over his back.
Whatever. She doesn't seem to mind. He kisses her again, feels her part her legs, so he moves his body so he's laying between her thighs. She pushes a hand through his hair like she's always does. It feels even better when she's beneath him and she's moving her lips with his. She whimpers when he runs his tongue along the seam of her lips, but opens her mouth for him and digs her fingers into his shoulder blade when he presses his tongue against hers. She tastes amazing and his temperature is spiking, and she bends her knees and tears her mouth from his after a while, turns her head when he starts kissing along her jaw.
"Tyler," she gasps. He smirks against her skin, licks at the vein in her neck and presses his hips against hers when she whines in response. "Tyler, you can't just..."
"I'm so crazy about you," he confesses, face pressed against her neck.
Pulling away, he sees that her eyes are clear and she's just staring, looking at him. "Really?" she asks before he can question her.
He pushes himself up on his hands and stares down at her, gives her the same look he gave her when he saw her laying there on his bed. She's this gorgeous, amazing person and she has no clue what she means to him. It's almost annoying, only it isn't, really, because he kind of loves that she's completely oblivious.
He half-smiles and shakes his head at her. "Caroline."
He doesn't get to say anything more before her hand is on the back of his head and she's pulling him down towards her.
... ... ...
He's naked and alone in his bed when he opens his eyes, and it sucks because that's definitely not how he fell asleep. Not the alone part. He turns so he's on his back and sees Caroline in her bra and panties walking around the room gathering the rest of her clothes. He doesn't know what her rush is, but it's also weirdly hot, her half naked and unaware that he's watching her. He groans when she bends down to get her jeans, then she spins around and looks at him like he's a jerk for watching.
"Where're you going?" he asks sleepily. "Come here."
She throws a pair of shorts his way and gives him a look. "Are you forgetting what tonight is?" He pushes himself up on his elbow and totally sees the way she looks at his body when the sheet slips away. "The full moon, Tyler! God!"
He checks the clock on his bedside table. "We have time. Relax." She rolls her eyes and he holds out his hand until she comes over and sits down next to him. He lays his arm across her thighs and slips the tips of his fingers beneath her panties at her hip. "You wanna talk about it," he states, more than questions.
He smirks at her. "I'd believe you if you weren't blushing."
"I'm not blushing," she practically snaps. He raises his brow. "It's just kind of...intense. With you, I mean."
He pushes his hand higher. "Yeah, I got that, too."
She smiles that fucking adorable smile she has, shakes her head the slightest bit and leans down to kiss him. His free hand slips into her messy hair and she pulls herself away from him far too quickly. She's probably smart to do it, because he honestly doesn't think he'll be able to stop if he kisses her for any amount of time, and he can't be near her when he turns this time.
"Get dressed," she says quietly, fingers combing through his hair. "I'll be downstairs."
He lays back against his bed for a minute after she's gone, just thinking about her and how being with her totally distracted him from what he has to do tonight. It's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how he looks at it.
... ... ...
She lock the cuff around his wrist and slides her thumb over his forearm above it. He can tell she's nervous, which is kind of weird, since she's been with him both times he's done this and she knows how it all goes down. He can feel his insides churning already. It's true that the whole thing speeds up the more he does it. It also means he stays a wolf for a longer amount of time before becoming himself again.
"Try not to kill me this time, would you?" she asks teasingly.
"That's not funny, Caroline," he says, shaking his head at her.
She smiles a bit and tilts her head, sits up on her knees and takes his face in her hands, kisses him and sucks in a breath afterward.
"I'll be back in the morning."
He nods. At least she's listening to him this time and getting the hell out of here. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath when his heart starts beating too fast for his body. He knows she's gotten up and gone to the door.
"Caroline," he calls after her. He's on his hands and knees and she looks like she really doesn't want to leave. He forgot what he was going to say.
She blows him a kiss and she's a blur of blond hair when she steps through the gate and quickly locks it behind her. She doesn't say goodbye. He doesn't have much time to think about that, though.
... ... ...
He wakes up with her hand in his hair and her saying his name quietly, and when he opens his eyes and sees her, he takes a deep breath and accepts the drink of water she gives him.
"Okay?" she asks. He just nods and closes his eyes again, focuses on breathing and the way her hand feels as she moves it down his chest. "I brought clothes for you." He only nods again because he's exhausted. She sets her hand under his neck and the other curls under his bicep so she can help him up. "Come on." He sits up and scrubs a hand over his face, sees that she's covered his lower half and already unchained him. "We'll go for breakfast."
He gets dressed while she puts away the chains, and once he's got the strength to do it, he wraps his arms around her and presses his face against her neck, breathes her in. "Thanks."
"You don't have to thank me every time," she giggles. He pulls away and presses a quick kiss to her lips.